Description: Challenge to ongoing federal authorization and management of the American lobster fishery for failing to prevent jeopardy and unlawful takes of North Atlantic right whales.
Conservation Law Foundation v. Ross
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 02/07/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Lawsuit Challenging Management of Lobster Fishery Said Agency Failed to Consider Fishery’s Effects Added to Baseline Affected by Climate Change and Other Factors. Conservation Law Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service’s ongoing authorization and management of the American lobster fishery for failing to prevent jeopardy and unlawful takes of North Atlantic right whales in violation of the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. The complaint alleged, among other claims, that a 2014 biological opinion concerning the effects of continued operations of the lobster fishery on endangered and threatened species, including the right whale, was arbitrary and capricious. One of the shortcomings alleged in the complaint was the biological opinion’s failure to add the fishery’s direct and indirect effects (entanglement in fishing gear was alleged to be the “single greatest threat” to right whale survival) to the environmental baseline and the cumulative effects on the species. Climate change was among the factors discussed in the environmental baseline and cumulative effects analysis as potentially having a negative influence on right whale recovery.